Heathrow's #AvGeek of the Month for September is Mo Firaas.
We’ve caught up with Mo to find out more about his passion for aviation.
Name: Mohammed Firaas Naeem
Age: 32 years old
Where are you from: I live in a small town in Berkshire just a short drive from the beautiful Windsor Castle – home to Her Majesty The Queen!
Aviation is in my blood. Many members of my family work at Heathrow Airport, with my grandfather leading the way since the late ninety sixties. My school was directly under the flightpath so seeing aircraft taking off and land was the norm throughout most of my childhood. I recall seeing some legendary aircraft such as the Boeing 757, 767, 747, Airbus A300/A310/A340, Fokker F50/F100 and the mighty Concorde!
At a very young age, my parents would often take us abroad to see our extended family and friends. Thanks to Heathrow’s diverse connections, we travelled to cities in the US, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia. This is where my passion really began. Travelling on a variety of aircraft and through a number of airports really made me appreciate the technological advances man had made in connecting us to the far corners of the world.
The buzz! There is never a dull day at Heathrow airport. Everyday the world’s airlines send in something special or interesting to spot. With the technological advances in aircraft engineering, Heathrow airport is often selected as a premier route to trial new aircraft. For example, I recall seeing Air France, Iberia, Malaysia, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines all sending in their new aircraft for us to see.
Another reason why I love Heathrow is due to it’s staff that work around the clock at keeping the airport and its passengers moving. Despite the huge terminal buildings, the long walkways I have often found the staff at check-in, security through to the gate all very courteous and professional. On several of my flights I have had conversations with check-in agents, duty free staff and volunteers whom all share the same passion and love for the airport as I do.
The aircraft and livery that holds a place in my heart is the Gulf Air Airbus A330-200 painted in the special Formula 1 livery. Aircraft registration A9C-KB. Gulf Air, the national airline of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has been the main sponsor of the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix since 2004.
Bahrain was the first country in the Middle East to hold these championships and to mark the occasion the airline painted this aircraft to celebrate its huge achievement in bringing the races to the region. I was lucky enough to travel on this very same aircraft twice - both being memorable experiences.
The livery is ingenious. The fuselage is painted in dull gold separated at the centre with the official F1 race track and Bahraini flags. The engines are painted in patriotic red whilst the trademark golden falcon is depicted on the tail.
I initially started with twitter. I found twitter to be an excellent platform for sharing photographs and having conversations with AvGeeks from different airports in the world.
I found airlines were also very encouraging even to the point where my photographs were featured on the official accounts of Qatar Airways, Gulf Air, British Airways, Air Canada as well as our very own Heathrow Airport. My Instagram account is for anything that catches my eye whether it is an aircraft, something that looked good on a plate or a place I have visited.
Twitter : raisinganchor
Instagram : raisinganchor